This year, we’re toasting our 10th harvest at Aaldering Vineyards & Wines with a vintage worth celebrating.
The 2017 harvest started on 23 February – 11 days later than the 2016 vintage. Caught in the midst of the worst drought in 100 years, this has been our driest harvest yet. While we were blessed with the occasional drizzle towards the end, we did not have enough water to supplement irrigation.
On average, Stellenbosch was 20% cooler than last year. We experienced mild days and cool nights. In mid-February, usually the hottest month of the year, we had a few days where the temperature reached mid-thirties. These scorchers were followed by rather chilly evenings.
The Aaldering crop was as robust as last year with an increase in Shiraz. This was as a result of viticultural practices and is not vintage related. Despite the drought, the quality is expected the surpass that of 2016 and in some cases, even 2015.
Compared to last year, the red varieties have great colour, good concentration and softer tannins. The white varieties have good flavour. In the cellar, the available nutrients in the juice for the yeast was below average, but fermentations went smooth without any hiccups.
It’s safe to say that you can lift your glass, in good time, to an exceptional vintage from our 10th harvest.